No drugged driving allowed

California’s new law legalizing the use of recreational marijuana went into effect Jan. 1. Hopefully, the negative impacts on highway safety experienced in some other states with similar laws will not be repeated here. Using marijuana while driving remains strictly prohibited in California. The law prohibits smoking or ingesting marijuana or marijuana products while driving […]

Legislators are back in session for 2018

The 120 California Legislators reconvened to begin the second half of the 2017-2018 session, Jan. 3. Over 2,000 bills are likely to be introduced in the next few weeks. Some bills will be controversial, though many will pass with wide bipartisan support. Bills that didn’t pass their house of origin, either Assembly or Senate, before […]

Special committees are at work during recess

The Legislature is half-way through its 2017-2018 session, but work has continued since recess began in September. I am a member of 11 select committees, and most have continued to meet and hold hearings. Important issues that are sometimes put on the back burner during the regular session can be discussed in detail by select committees […]

High diesel taxes hurt everyone

When the new 12 cent per gallon gas tax increase went into effect Nov. 1, hardworking Californians took an immediate hit. The tax on diesel fuel also increased by 20 cents a gallon, but we have seen that increase spike to 30 cents at the pump. Vehicle registration fees are also going up by $25 to […]

REAL ID is coming

Get ready to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. Under the federal REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, the DMV must meet requirements set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by adding new enhancements to California driver’s licenses and identification cards. The DMV will begin offering REAL IDs on Jan. 22, 2018, in order to meet the Oct. 1, […]

Hacking public infrastructure

Last week, cyber-criminal hackers attacked the Sacramento Regional Transit system, erasing computer programs that affected internal operations, including computers that assign bus routes throughout the Sacramento region. More harm was threatened if SacRT failed to meet a ransom demand. The ransom message was sent via Facebook demanding a bitcoin payment, with a value above $8,000 immediately. SacRT […]

Changing the culture in Sacramento

Last month 140 legislators, staffers, consultants and lobbyists signed a letter declaring that there is a “pervasive culture of sexual harassment” in Sacramento. Signatories include six current legislators, a Board of Equalization member and both Republicans and Democrats. Allegations have been made against current and past legislators. Unfortunately, given the power and influence of some […]

Unique San Diego agriculture thrives

More than 14 percent of the nation’s agricultural exports come from California. The state produces over one-third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts. Contrary to what many people in Northern California may think much of California’s abundance originates from Southern California. The farms and farmers here are unique in many ways. […]

Our Backyard Friends

California is a great state with a rich diversity of native wildlife.  In the mid-1980s, I took Project Wildlife training as a native songbird rehabilitator, and have rescued many orphaned baby birds or injured adults through the decades. This session my AB 1031, signed into law, creates the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Fund setting up […]

Combating the drug epidemic

Last week I participated in a prescription drug abuse forum at Valley Center High School. Representatives from North County Mental Health, the Sheriff’s Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the F.B.I. discussed this growing problem. My initial experience with this issue was during my involvement with the San Diego County Opioid Task force as […]

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